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Summary

The right to asylum is a constitutional right in Germany and granted to everyone who flees political persecution.  An asylum seeker is allowed to stay in Germany if he or she is granted political asylum, refugee status, or subsidiary protection, or if the agency declares a deportation prohibition.  The Asylum Act and the Residence Act are the two most important immigration laws in Germany that provide rules for the admission and handling of refugee claims.  There have been several amendments to these and other laws due to the current refugee crisis.  

In order to determine whether a person is entitled to refugee status, an in-person interview is conducted and country-specific resources and experts consulted.  Every applicant over the age of fourteen must submit to measures establishing his or her identity and provide fingerprints, which are cross-checked with national and European databases and the Visa Information System.  Refugees are generally housed in reception facilities, which provide them with essential items like food, housing, heat, clothing, health care, and household items in kind or in the form of vouchers, whereas persons who are housed outside of reception facilities primarily receive cash allowances to purchase essential items.  

While an asylum application is pending, applicants are not allowed to leave the area of the reception facility without permission.  If a refugee has no independent means of subsistence, a residence permit may also be restricted territorially.  A refugee can obtain citizenship after six years of legal residence, rather than eight, and naturalization of refugees has also been deemed presumptively in the public interest for purposes of discretionary naturalization.

I. General Background

The right to asylum is codified in article 16a of the German Basic Law.[1]  It is granted to everyone who flees political persecution.  In general, only persecution that is perpetrated by the state is relevant.[2]  Political persecution is defined as persecution that causes specific violations of individual rights and, due to its intensity, excludes the individual from the “general peace framework of the state unit.”[3]  The constitutional right to asylum protects human dignity and reflects the view that no state has the right to persecute an individual for his or her political or religious beliefs or other personal characteristics that mark him or her as different.[4]  Not every disadvantage or material hardship supports a right to asylum.[5]

In addition, Germany is a signatory to the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951[6] and has implemented it into German law.[7]  Article 1(A)(2) of the Refugee Convention states that a refugee is someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”  This definition has been incorporated into section 3 of the German Asylum Act.[8]

According to the monthly statistics of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Germany has received 425,035 asylum applications between January and November 2015, with 57,816 in November alone.[9]  The number of asylum applications has more than doubled since 2014—an increase of 134.2%.[10]  Most of the applicants in November came from Syria (30,398 first-time applicants), Afghanistan (4,929), and Iraq (4,391).[11]  In all of 2015, most applicants came from Syria, Albania, and Kosovo.  The applications of Syrians were approved in 94.8% of the cases, whereas the success rates for Albanians and Kosovarians were 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively.[12]  In general, 45.8% of the applications were approved in 2015.[13]

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II. General Rules and Norms for Admission of Refugees and Handling Refugee Claims

The Asylum Act and the Residence Act[14] are the two most important immigration laws in Germany that provide rules for the admission of refugees and the handling of refugee claims.  The Asylum Act codifies the process and consequences of granting and denying asylum, whereas the Residence Act provides rules concerning the entry, stay, exit, and employment of foreigners in general.

An asylum seeker is allowed to stay in Germany if he or she is seeking protection from political persecution or international protection, which includes refugee status and subsidiary protection, or if the agency declares a deportation prohibition.  If the application is denied, the applicant has a duty to leave Germany or will be subject to deportation proceedings.

A. Application Approved

The protection against political persecution is codified in article 16a of the Basic Law, as discussed above.  If the applicant was the victim of political persecution, he or she may be granted political asylum under article 16a of the Basic Law.  Refugee status under the Geneva Convention, codified in section 3, paragraph 1 of the Asylum Act, may be granted for humanitarian reasons.  Those reasons include the criteria for political asylum and a broad range of other humanitarian reasons.[15]

Applicants who are awarded political asylum or refugee status receive a three-year residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis).[16]  After those initial three years, a settlement permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) with no time limit is issued if the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees does not object.[17]

Subsidiary protection is codified in section 4, paragraph 1 of the Asylum Act and is awarded to applicants who can prove that they are threatened with serious harm in their country of origin.  “Serious harm” is defined as the “imposition or application of capital punishment, torture or inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment, or a serious individual threat to the life or integrity of a civilian as a result of indiscriminate violence in an international or internal armed conflict.”[18]  Applicants subject to subsidiary protection are initially granted a residence permit for one year, which can be extended for two additional years.[19]

In addition, the government agency may not deport the applicant if there is a prohibition against deportation according to section 60, paragraphs 5 or 7 of the Residence Act.  Deportation is prohibited according to section 60, paragraph 5, if it is inadmissible under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950 (ECHR),[20] which entered into force for Germany in 1952.[21]  An applicant may also not be deported to a country in which he or she faces a substantial and concrete danger to his or her life, limb, or liberty.[22]  Asylum seekers often invoke this provision when there is a risk of a substantial deterioration of health after the return to their country of origin—for example, due to post-traumatic stress disorder.[23]

B. Application Denied

If an application for asylum is rejected as either unfounded or manifestly unfounded and there is no prohibition against deportation, if the asylum application is inadmissible because another Member State of the European Union (EU) is responsible for processing the application (Dublin procedure), or if the application is withdrawn, a deportation order is issued and the applicant must leave Germany.[24]  The period for departure is either thirty days if the application was rejected as without merit[25] or one week if it was rejected as manifestly without merit.[26]

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III. Processes for Handling Refugees Arriving at the Border

A refugee can either register as an asylum-seeker at the border or inside the country.  The authorities then direct him or her to the closest reception facility.  Staff at this reception facility issue a certificate of registration as an asylum seeker, which includes personal details and a photo.[27]

In a next step the authorities determine which German state is responsible for processing the asylum application.  The distribution among the German states takes place according to the EASY system.[28]  The allocation to a reception facility depends on the capacity available, the home country of the asylum seeker, and a quota system.[29]  Not all branch offices handle all countries.  In addition, each German state only needs to accept a certain number of applicants based on a quota system called Königsteiner Schlüssel.  The quota is calculated each year according to the tax receipts and population numbers of the German states.[30]  If the reception center in which the asylum seeker registered is not the one that is responsible for handling his or her case, he or she has to travel to the responsible center.[31]  The branch offices of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees in which the asylum seeker must submit his or her application are usually close to the reception centers.

Asylum seekers who enter Germany from safe third countries have no right to asylum and are removed to the country they came from.[32]  Safe third countries are the European Union (EU) countries, Norway, and Switzerland.[33]

Furthermore, at some airports that have the capacity,[34] asylum seekers who enter by air are subject to the “airport procedure.”[35]  If the asylum seeker entered without or with false or expired papers or via a safe country of origin, the asylum procedure is carried out directly in the airport transit area.  Safe countries of origin are all EU countries, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Senegal, and Serbia.[36]  The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees must decide within two days whether the asylum application is justified.[37]  If the application is denied, the applicant will be denied entry into Germany and threatened with deportation if he enters Germany illegally.[38]  The applicant has the right to an attorney and can appeal the decision within three days.[39]  A judge will issue a ruling in an emergency proceeding within fourteen days.[40]  While the application is pending, the asylum seeker must stay in the airport transit area and cannot enter Germany.

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IV. Adjustments or Amendments to the Refugee Handling Procedure Due to the Current Refugee Crisis

Several amendments to current laws have been adopted in recent months due to the refugee crisis.  On October 24, 2015, the Act on the Acceleration of Asylum Procedures entered into force.[41]  The Act amended several laws in order to accelerate the asylum process; substitute in-kind benefits for cash benefits; reduce the financial burden on the German states and municipalities; reform integration policies for refugees; and designate Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro as safe countries of origin.

On November 1, 2015, the Act to Improve the Housing, Care, and Treatment of Foreign Minors and Adolescents entered into force.  Its goal is to improve the situation of young unaccompanied refugees and provide them with appropriate care.[42]

On August 1, 2015, the Act to Redefine the Right to Stay and the Termination of Residence entered into force.[43]  It amended the Residence Act by ordering a ban on entry and residence for applicants from safe countries of residence and in case of repeat follow-up applications.[44]  Furthermore, the Act grants a residence permit to persons who can prove that they are well-integrated after a period of eight years and to well-integrated minors after four years.[45]

Additionally, on February 3, 2016, the German government agreed on a set of stricter asylum measures (Asylum Package II), which will now be debated by the German Bundestag.  The Asylum Package II would accelerate the asylum application process; suspend family reunification for refugees with subsidiary protection status for a period of two years; decrease asylees’ monthly cash benefits; facilitate deportation; establish a new Federal Police unit to help procure replacement documents; improve the safety of refugee minors; and designate Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia as safe countries of origin.[46]

A. Act on the Acceleration of Asylum Procedures

1. Substitution of Benefits in Kind for Cash Benefits

Before the recent changes, asylum seekers in a reception facility received essential benefits in kind and an additional cash allowance (pocket money) for personal use.  The pocket money totaled €140 per month for a single adult (about US$154) or €126 per month for each of two adult recipients living in a common household.  According to the amendment, refugees and asylum seekers in reception facilities now only receive essential items like food, housing, heat, clothing, health care, and household items in kind or in the form of vouchers.  Items for personal use are also provided in kind, but states retain discretion to provide refugees and asylum seekers with cash if necessary.[47]  Cash allowances cannot be disbursed more than one month in advance.[48]

Asylum seekers who are housed outside of reception facilities primarily receive cash allowances to purchase essential items.  A single adult recipient receives €216 per month; two adult recipients with a common household each receive €194 per month; other adult beneficiaries without a household, €174 per month; adolescents between fifteen and eighteen years old, €198 per month; children between seven and fourteen years old, €157 per month; and children up to six years old, €133 per month.[49]

2.  Reduction of the Financial Burden of German States and Municipalities

Currently, the municipalities that receive refugees and asylum seekers pay for their essential needs and are reimbursed by the German states.  Starting in 2016, the federal government will pay the German states €670 per asylum seeker per month, until the asylum procedure has been concluded, in order to reduce the financial burden on the German states.  The federal government will therefore allocate a provisional sum of approximately €2.8 billion (about US$3.1 billion) to the states.[50]  The sum is only an estimate and will be adjusted as needed at the end of 2016.  The allocation is based on the assumption that there will be around 800,000 applicants for asylum, with an average processing time of five months, and around 400,000 denied applications, for which the states will receive another month’s worth of compensation.  The allocation also includes money to cover expenses for unaccompanied refugee minors.[51]

3.  Safe Countries of Origin

The Act on the Acceleration of Asylum Procedures designates Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro as safe countries of origin and adds them to the list contained in appendix II of section 29a of the Asylum Act.  The designation as a safe country of origin allows the accelerated processing of applications from asylum seekers from these countries, because there is a presumption that the application is manifestly without merit.[52]  In such a case, the applicant has only one week to leave the country[53] instead of the usual thirty days.[54]

4.  Integration Classes and Employment

The Federal Employment Agency assumes the costs for integration and language classes for asylum seekers whose applications are likely to be approved, in order to improve their chances in the job market and accelerate their integration into Germany.[55]

5.  Housing for Refugees

The Act on the Acceleration of Asylum Procedures also dispensed with some building code and renewable energy law requirements, in order to facilitate and accelerate the building of new accommodations and the repurposing of existing facilities to provide housing for refugees.[56]

B. Support for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors

Under current rules, the youth office in the district in which an unaccompanied minor arrives is obligated to take him or her into its care.[57]  Some local communities in central arrival locations are therefore disproportionately affected.  In order to distribute the burden evenly, the Act to Improve the Housing, Care, and Treatment of Foreign Minors and Adolescents created an obligation for all German states to receive unaccompanied refugee minors.  Refugee minors will be distributed throughout Germany by the local youth office according to the quota system, Königsteiner Schlüssel.[58]

In addition, the age of legal capacity to act in an asylum procedure was raised from sixteen to eighteen years.  That means that every asylum seeker under the age of eighteen is provided with a legal guardian to act on his or her behalf and to handle the complex asylum procedure.[59]

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V. Steps to Determine Whether a Person Is Entitled to Refugee Status

After an application has been submitted, the person seeking asylum is invited to an in-person interview.[60]  No in-person interview is necessary if the applicant is younger than six years of age.[61]  The applicant is informed about his or her rights in a language he or she understands.[62]  It is the duty of the applicant to provide information and proof of persecution or serious harm.[63]  That includes information on former residences, travel routes, time spent in other countries, and whether a refugee or asylum application has already been initiated or completed in another country or in a different location in Germany.[64]

The case worker makes a decision on the basis of an overall assessment of all relevant findings, with an emphasis on the personal interview.  In making the decision, the case worker may also consult the Federal Office’s Asylum and Migration Information Centre and its Migration Info Logistics (MILo) database;[65] send individual queries to the German Foreign Office; and obtain language and text analyses, physical-technical document examinations, and medical or other expert advice.[66]  The decision on the asylum application is given to the applicant in writing and details the reasoning and the legal options for appeal.[67]

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VI. Screening Procedure for Arriving Refugees Being Resettled in the Country

Every person over the age of fourteen who applies for asylum must submit to measures establishing his or her identity.[68]  For that purpose, the government agency takes photographs of the individual and prints of all ten fingers.  The asylum seeker is required to cooperate in establishing the facts of the case by presenting passports or passport substitutes, as well as all necessary certificates and documents that might aid in establishing his or her identity and nationality.[69]  Biometric data obtained from the passport may be compared with the fingerprints and photograph obtained from the applicant.[70]

Furthermore, if there is any doubt with regard to the applicant’s country or region of origin, oral statements may be recorded on audio or data media.[71]  The recording is then analyzed by a trained linguist.[72]

An authenticity check of the certificates and documents submitted in the asylum procedure is performed by the unit for physical technical documents (PTU) of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.  Certificates are reviewed by certificate experts specially trained by the Federal Criminal Police Office.[73]

Fingerprints are cross-checked with the national database AFIS; with the European database Eurodac, which consists of a computerized central fingerprint database with a National Access Point for each EU country; and with the Visa Information System (VIS), which contains information about visa applications and the resulting decisions of all EU countries participating in the Schengen system.  If an applicant has already applied for asylum in another EU Member State, it will result in a match in the Eurodac database and the person will be transferred to that Member State to conduct the asylum procedure.[74]

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VII. Accommodations and Assistance for Refugees

As discussed in Part IV, above, refugees and asylum seekers are generally housed in reception facilities that provide them with essential items like food, housing, heat, clothing, health care, and household items in kind or in the form of vouchers.  Items for personal use are also provided in kind, but states retain discretion to provide refugees and asylum seekers with cash if necessary.[75]  Asylum seekers who are housed outside of reception facilities primarily receive cash allowances to purchase essential items.[76]

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VIII. Steps Applicants Must Undergo Before Arrival

Until recently, there was no specific legal basis for the resettlement of refugees.  Resettlement was done on an ad hoc basis as a pilot project using the general norms of section 23 and section 22, sentence 2 of the Residence Act.[77]  Section 23 applies to groups of foreigners, whereas section 22, sentence 2 applies to individuals and single families.  All refugees considered for resettlement must have been registered and recognized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees conducts individual interviews with the persons selected by the UNHCR to determine if they qualify.[78]

According to section 23, a residence permit can be granted to foreigners from specific states or to certain groups of foreigners defined by other means, in accordance with international law, on humanitarian grounds or in order to uphold the political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.  This decision is made by the Federal Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the German states.[79]

According to section 22, sentence 2, a residence permit may be granted in accordance with international law or on urgent humanitarian grounds, or if the Federal Ministry of the Interior has declared that admission is necessary to uphold the political interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Act to Redefine the Right to Stay and the Termination of Residence, which entered into force on August 1, 2015,[80] amended the Residence Act and codified a specific legal basis for the resettlement process.[81]  According to that provision, the Federal Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the agencies of the German states can order the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees to grant a residence permit to particularly vulnerable persons who have been designated as resettlement refugees.

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IX. Path to Naturalization

In Germany, there are two categories of naturalization: naturalization by entitlement[82] and discretionary naturalization.[83]  In general, a foreigner must wait eight years before he or she is entitled to apply for citizenship.[84]  The time spent to process an asylum application counts toward that waiting period.[85]  In addition, if a refugee applies for discretionary naturalization, refugee status reduces the discretion of the agency and generally shortens the necessary period of legal residency to six years.[86]

A.  Naturalization by Entitlement

A foreigner has a legal right to be naturalized upon application if he or she fulfills the following requirements:

  • Legal residence in Germany for a period of eight years
  • Legal capacity pursuant to section 37, paragraph 1, sentence 1 of the Nationality Act
  • Commitment to the free democratic constitutional order of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Unrestricted right of residence at the time of naturalization
  • Independent means of supporting him or herself and dependents without resorting to welfare payments and unemployment benefits
  • Has lost or given up a former nationality
  • No criminal convictions
  • Adequate German-language skills
  • Knowledge of the legal and social system as well as living conditions in Germany (naturalization test)[87]

If a foreigner has been granted asylum or international protection under Directive 2011/95/EU,[88] the time period during which the asylum application was pending counts toward the eight-year period required to apply for naturalization.[89]  If the asylum application was denied, the time period generally cannot be counted toward the eight-year period.[90]

B.  Discretionary Naturalization

If one of the requirements for naturalization is not fulfilled, a foreigner may still be granted citizenship if the government agency processing the application determines that certain minimum requirements have been met and naturalization is in the public interest.[91]

Article 34 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which was implemented into German law,[92] mandates that Contracting States must “make every effort to expedite naturalization proceedings.”  The Federal Ministry of the Interior has interpreted this provision to mean that a period of six years of legal residence in Germany is sufficient for recognized refugees.[93]  Furthermore, the Federal Administrative Court has concluded that the existence of article 34 and the fact that the German Basic Law awards asylum seekers special protection[94] reduces the discretion of the agency and creates a presumption that naturalization is in the public interest.[95]

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X. Monitoring and Movement of Refugees While in the Country

While the asylum application is pending, the asylum seeker is required to stay in the initial reception center responsible for his application for a period of at least six weeks but no longer than six months and may not leave the area without permission.[96]  The geographic restriction generally ends after three months or after the applicant is no longer required to stay in the initial reception facility.[97]

After a period of six months, the refugee will generally be housed in a collective living facility.[98]  He or she might be granted the right to an apartment depending on public interest and personal reasons like family reunification.[99]  The decision is in the discretion of the local government agency.

After an application for asylum has been approved and if the refugee is not able to secure his or her own means of subsistence, the government authority may restrict his or her residence permit to a specific German state and municipality.[100]

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XI. Role of Subnational Governments

The Alien Offices in the German states are responsible for all issues concerning residence law, such as accommodation, board, and other benefits.[101]  The Federal Office of Migration and Refugees therefore must inform the local agencies if an application for asylum has been made or an asylum procedure has been concluded.[102]

If an asylum application has been denied, the applicant is obligated to leave Germany.  The local agencies monitor the departure and will instigate deportation proceedings if the applicant does not leave voluntarily.[103]

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Prepared by Jenny Gesley
Foreign Law Specialist
March 2016


[1] Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland [Grundgesetz] [GG] [Basic Law], May 23, 1949, Bundesgesetzblatt [BGBl.] [Federal Law Gazette] I at 1, art. 16a, unofficial English translation at http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_gg/basic_law_for_the_federal_republic_of_germany.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/RW2X-HD46.

[2] Bundesverfassungsgericht [BVerfG] [Federal Constitutional Court], 80 Entscheidungen des Bundesverfassungsgerichts] [BVerfGE] [Decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court] 315, 334.

[3] Id. at 334 et seq.

[4] Id. at 333.

[5] Id. at 335.

[6] Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, July 28, 1951, 19 U.S.T. 6259, 189 U.N.T.S. 137, http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/K3X4-FA37.

[7] Gesetz betreffend das Abkommen vom 28. Juli 1951 über die Rechtstellung der Flüchtlinge [Act on the Convention of July 28, 1951 Relating to the Status of Refugees], Sept. 1, 1953, BGBl. II at 559, http://www.bgbl. de/xaver/bgbl/start.xav?startbk=Bundesanzeiger_BGBl&jumpTo=bgbl253s0559.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/JZJ8-CVKX.

[8] Asylgesetz [AsylG] [Asylum Act], Sept. 2, 2008, BGBl.I at 1798, § 3, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/ bundesrecht/asylvfg_1992/gesamt.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/5UGT-VNNE, unofficial English translation available at http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_asylvfg/englisch_asylvfg.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/E2YA-U7LK.  Please note that the English version is only current up to December 2014 and does not reflect the name change of the act to Asylum Act.

[9] Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge [Federal Office for Migration and Refugees], Aktuelle Zahlen zu Asyl [Current Asylum Numbers], Nov. 2015, at 4, http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/DE/ Downloads/Infothek/Statistik/Asyl/statistik-anlage-teil-4-aktuelle-zahlen-zu-asyl.pdf?__blob=publicationFile, archived at http://perma.cc/9MUN-2ZL8.

[10] Id.

[11] Id. at 5.

[12] Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge [Federal Office for Migration and Refugees], Asylgeschäftsstatistik für den Monat November 2015 at 2 (Dec. 2015), http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/ Anlagen/DE/Downloads/Infothek/Statistik/Asyl/201511-statistik-anlage-asyl-geschaeftsbericht.pdf?__ blob=publicationFile, archived at http://perma.cc/D682-H288.

[13] Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, supra note 9, at 10.

[14] Aufenthaltsgesetz [AufenthG] [Residence Act], Feb. 25, 2008, BGBl. I at 162, as amended, § 45a, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/aufenthg_2004/gesamt.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/2PK7-NQL8, unofficial English translation available at http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_aufenthg/residence_act.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/P5Y3-V27S.  Please note that the English translation is only current up to September 2013.

[15] Examples of other humanitarian grounds are codified in articles 3a and 3b of the Asylum Act.

[16] Residence Act § 26, para. 1, sentence 2.

[17] Id. § 26, para. 3.

[18] Asylum Act § 4, para. 1, sentence 2.

[19] Residence Act § 26, para. 1, sentence 3.

[20] Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [ECHR], Nov. 4, 1950, 213 U.N.T.S. 222, as amended, http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/7RZX-DST2.

[21] Gesetz über die Konvention zum Schutze der Menschenrechte und Grundfreiheiten [Act on the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms], Aug. 7, 1952, BGBl. II at 685, http://www.bgbl.de/xaver/ bgbl/start.xav?startbk=Bundesanzeiger_BGBl&jumpTo=bgbl252s0685.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/ZTL8-KZ48; AsylG, § 60, para. 5.

[22] Residence Act § 60, para. 7.

[23] Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Germany’s Asylum Procedure – in Detail: Responsibilities, Procedures, Statistics, Legal Consequences 28 et seq. (Nov. 2014), http://www.bamf.de/ SharedDocs/Anlagen/EN/ Publikationen/Broschueren/das-deutsche-asylverfahren.pdf?__blob=publicationFile, archived at http://perma.cc/27SD-YPHZ.

[24] Asylum Act §§ 34, 34a, 35.

[25] Id. § 38, para. 1.

[26] Id. § 36, para. 1.

[27] Id. § 63a.

[28] EASY stands for Erstverteilung von Asylbegehrenden (“initial distribution of asylum seekers”).

[29] Asylum Act § 46, paras. 1, 2.

[30] Id. § 45, para. 1.

[31] Id. § 46.

[32] Id. §§ 26a, para. 1, 34a, para. 1.

[33] Id. § 26a, para. 2, annex I.

[34] Berlin-Schönefeld, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, and Munich airports.

[35] Asylum Act § 18a.

[36] Id. § 29a in conjunction with annex II.

[37] Id. § 18a, para. 6, no. 1.

[38] Id. § 18a, paras. 2, 3.

[39] Id. §§ 18a, para. 1, sentence 5, 18a , para. 4.

[40] Id. § 18a, paras. 4, 6, no. 3.

[41] Asylverfahrensbeschleunigungsgesetz [Act on the Acceleration of Asylum Procedures], Oct. 20, 2015, BGBl. I at 1722, http://www.bgbl.de/xaver/bgbl/start.xav?startbk=Bundesanzeiger_BGBl&jumpTo=bgbl115s1722.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/K4YQ-VWNS.

[42] Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Unterbringung, Versorgung und Betreuung ausländischer Kinder und Jugendlicher, Oct. 28, 2015, BGBl. I at 1802, http://www.bgbl.de/xaver/bgbl/start.xav?startbk=Bundesanzeiger_BGBl&jump To=bgbl115s1802.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/M75M-U4Y5.

[43] Gesetz zur Neubestimmung des Bleiberechts und der Aufenthaltsbeendigung [Act to Redefine the Right to Stay and the Termination of Residence], July 27, 2015, BGBl. I at 1386, http://www.bgbl.de/xaver/bgbl/start.xav? startbk=Bundesanzeiger_BGBl&jumpTo=bgbl115s1386.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/6HSW-G3PM.

[44] Residence Act § 11, para. 7.

[45] Id. §§ 25a, 25b.

[46] For more information, see Jenny Gesley, Germany: Proposed Tightening of Asylum Rules, Global Legal Monitor (Feb. 8, 2016), http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/germany-proposed-tightening-of-asylum-rules/?loclr=eaglm, archived at http://perma.cc/T5WM-7F5B.

[47] Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz [AsylbLG] [Asylum Seeker Benefits Act], Aug. 5, 1997, BGBl. I at 2022, § 3, para. 1, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/asylblg/gesamt.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/S9WY-G6HM.

[48] Id. § 3, para. 6.

[49] Id. § 3, para. 2.

[50] Finanzausgleichsgesetz [FAG] [Financial Compensation Act], Dec. 20, 2001, BGBl. I at 3955, 3956, as amended, § 1, sentence  5, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/finausglg_2005/gesamt.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/2DBB-QGC7.

[51] Deutscher Bundestag: Drucksachen und Protokolle [BT-Drs.] 18/6185, p. 57.

[52] Asylum Act § 29a, para. 1.

[53] Id. § 36, para. 1.

[54] Id. § 38, para. 1.

[55] Residence Act § 45a; Sozialgesetzbuch Drittes Buch [SGB III] [Social Security Code Third Book], Mar. 24, 1997, BGBl. I at 594, 595, as amended, §§ 131, 421, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/ sgb_3/gesamt.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/UQ9T-MRDP.

[56] Baugesetzbuch [BauGB] [Building Code], Sept. 23, 2004, BGBl. I at 2414, as amended, § 246, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/bbaug/gesamt.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/3984-ND8Z; Act on the Acceleration of Asylum Procedures art.  6; Erneuerbare-Energien-Wärmegesetz [EEWärmeG] [Renewable Energy Heat Act], Aug. 7, 2008, BGBl. I at 1658, as amended, § 9a, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundes recht/eew_rmeg/gesamt.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/NU7N-ZAXW.

[57] Sozialgesetzbuch Achtes Buch [SGB VIII] [Social Security Code Eighth Book], Sept. 11, 2012, BGBl. I at 2022, as amended, § 42, para. 1, sentence 1, no. 3, § 87, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bundesrecht/ sgb_8/gesamt.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/8WA2-WUHP.

[58] Id. §§ 42b, 42c.

[59] Residence Act § 80; Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz [StAG] [Nationality Act], July 22, 1913, Reichs-gesetzblatt [RGBl.] [Reich Law Gazette] I at 583, as amended, § 37, para. 1, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/ bundesrecht/rustag/gesamt.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/4S9F-5T8F, unofficial English translation available at http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/ englisch_rustag/nationality_act.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/9B2Z-N5PS.  Please note that the English version is only current up to November 2014.

[60] Asylum Act §§ 24, 25.

[61] Id. §24, para. 1, sentence 6.

[62] Id. § 24, para. 1, sentence 2.

[63] Id. § 25, para. 1, sentence 1.

[64] Id. § 25, para. 1, sentence 2.

[65] The MILo database contains information on countries of origin, asylum and refugee protection, assisted returns, and immigration/migration.  See Easy Access to Important Documents, Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, http://www.bamf.de/EN/DasBAMF/IZAsylMigration/MILo/milo-node.html, archived at http://perma.cc/37NR-8TFW.

[66] Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, supra note 23, at 17.

[67] Asylum Act § 31, para. 1.

[68] Id. § 16.

[69] Id. § 15.

[70] Id. § 16, para. 1a.

[71] Id. § 16, para. 1, sentence 3.

[72] Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, supra note 23, at 8.

[73] Id.

[74] Id. at 9 et seq.

[75] Asylum Seeker Benefits Act § 3, para. 1.

[76] Id. § 3, para. 2.

[78] Für ein neues Leben in Frieden [For a New Life in Peace], Bundesministerium des Inneren [Federal Ministry of the Interior] (Dec. 3, 2014), https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/Kurzmeldungen/DE/2014/12/ ankunft-resettlement-fluechtlinge-syrien.html, archived at http://perma.cc/6S9A-TQN8.

[79] Residence Act § 23, para. 1.

[80] Gesetz zur Neubestimmung des Bleiberechts und der Aufenthaltsbeendigung [Act to Redefine the Right to Stay and the Termination of Residence], July 27, 2015, BGBl. I at 1386, http://www.bgbl.de/xaver/bgbl/start.xav? startbk=Bundesanzeiger_BGBl&jumpTo=bgbl115s1386.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/6HSW-G3PM.

[81] Residence Act § 23, para. 4.

[82] Nationality Act § 10.

[83] Id. § 8.

[84]Id. § 10.

[85] Asylum Act § 55, para. 3.

[86] Bundesministerium des Inneren [Federal Ministry of the Interior], Vorläufige Anwendungshinweise des Bundesministeriums des Innern zum Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (StAG) in der Fassung des Zweiten Gesetzes zur Änderung des Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetzes vom 13. November 2014 (BGBl. I S. 1714) [Preliminary Application Instructions from the Federal Ministry of the Interior on the Nationality Act (StAG) in the Version of the Second Act to Amend the Nationality Act Promulgated on November 13, 2014 (Federal Law Gazette I at 1714)] (June 1, 2015), p. 18, para. 8.1.3.1., http://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Themen/MigrationIntegration/ Staatsangehoerigkeit/Anwendungshinweise_06_2015.pdf;jsessionid=799280883774D4F2769FF8F31C9ACC96.2_cid295?__blob=public
ationFile
, archived at http://perma.cc/XZ9P-HW8T.

[87] Nationality Act § 10.

[88] Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on Standards for the Qualification of Third-country Nationals or Stateless Persons as Beneficiaries of International Protection, for a Uniform Status for Refugees or for Persons Eligible for Subsidiary Protection, and for the Content of the Protection Granted, 2011 O.J. (L 337) 9, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32011L0095&rid, archived at http://perma.cc/Y3RY-TSFG.

[89] Asylum Act § 55, para. 3.

[90] Bundesverwaltungsgericht [BVerwG] [Federal Administrative Court], 128 Entscheidungen des Bundesverwaltungsgerichts [BVerwGE] 254, 256, para. 10, http://www.bverwg.de/entscheidungen/pdf/ 290307U5C8.06.0.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/6M23-NSUE.

[91] Nationality Act § 8.

[92] Gesetz betreffend das Abkommen vom 28. Juli 1951 über die Rechtstellung der Flüchtlinge [Act on the Convention of July 28, 1951 Relating to the Status of Refugees], Sept. 1, 1953, BGBl. II at 559, http://www.bgbl. de/xaver/bgbl/start.xav?startbk=Bundesanzeiger_BGBl&jumpTo=bgbl253s0559.pdf, archived at http://perma.cc/JZJ8-CVKX (click “Uploaded page”).

[93] Bundesministerium des Inneren, supra note 86.

[94] Basic Law art. 16a.

[95] BVerwG, 49 BVerwGE 44, 47–48.

[96] Asylum Act §§ 47, para. 1; 56.

[97] Id. § 59a.

[98] Id. § 53.

[99] Id. § 53, para.1, sentence 2.

[100] Id. § 60.

[101] Residence Act § 71, para. 1.

[102] Asylum Act § 24, para. 3.

[103] Residence Act § 71, para. 5.